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Adi is a social business blogger and community manager that writes for sites such as Social Business News and Social Media Today. Away from the computer he enjoys cycling, particularly in the Alpes. Adi is a DZone Zone Leader and has posted 1050 posts at DZone. You can read more from them at their website. View Full User Profile

Are you confident enough to ask for help?

04.24.2013
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The central premise of social business is that it enables organisations to come together and help employees solve their problems.  That premise rests on the assumption however that employees are comfortable asking their peers for help.  If you admit to colleagues that you’re struggling in a particular area it can be taking as an admission of failure, that you’re not up to the job asked of you.

Most managers will accept that it’s far better to ask for help when it’s needed than to sit brooding away getting stressed.  It’s better for you and it’s better for the organisation.  There will undoubtably be opportunities where the boot will be on the other foot and you can help a colleague out with a problem they’re having.  Nevertheless, it is something many of us have difficulty with, so here are some tips to help you ask for help more confidently.

Admit it

The first step is to admit that you’re struggling.  Don’t wait around, do it as promptly as you can.  Think about how you feel when you’re asked a question by a colleague.  Chances are you feel flattered and then don’t think about it again, so don’t stress what others will think, just get it off your chest as soon as possible.  The earlier you get help, the easier the problem is to solve.

Trust your colleagues

I’m sure you’re only to happy to help people, and the same will apply for your colleagues.  Trust that they’re good people who will respond well to your request for advice.  If you’re worried, start by asking a peer rather than a boss.

Say it the right way

The way you present your request can often go a long way to shaping how people see you.  If your choice of words or body language reveal that you’re not coping or getting emotional then it’s unlikely to reflect well on you.

Be specific

If you can be as specific with your request as possible then it shows that you’ve given thought as to why it’s arisen and what is needed to solve the problem.